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healthy skepticism?

perhaps it's an innate patriotism, but i really do love debating with neighbours south of the border about the state of health care in canada. it's quite amazing the myths that get propagated.

that said, there are a lot of issues that need to be resolved within canada, and it's sad that admitting to those is often seen as a criticism of the canadian system in itself.

i'm happy to see that someone has put together a listing of facts that actually acknowledges the realities of the situation very well.

a few facts from my own history:

1. i had no trouble finding a g.p. in toronto, although it's the largest city in canada. no one i know has had a problem with this.

2. montreal has a shortage of g.p.'s and, while it's true i didn't have one in my time there, this was not because i couldn't find one. the preponderance of clinics available to the average montrealer means that there is always somewhere you can go for treatment.

3. i did once spend 22 hours in the emergency ward of the montreal general hospital, which was, i'm given to understand, some kind of record at the time. one of the chief reasons for the delay in my treatment was that the one doctor and two nurses on duty were busy treating three american tourists who had been fairly seriously injured in a fight. i do think they did the right thing...

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jihadvertising?

i keep seeing this ad for tictac candies:



am i the only one who finds the suicide bomber clown at the end a little unnerving? all the nice natural things like the bunny and the [extinct] woolly mammoth and the fruit get devoured by a trying-to-appear-nonthreatening-but-obviously-psychotic clown who then blows himself up. congratulations, tictac, i think this ad has landed you on about a dozen watch lists.

oh and by the way, showing me that your product will somehow cause my stomach to explode in a rainbow of wtf makes me believe that doing consuming tictacs would be a worse dietary decision than the time i ate two raw eggs and a half a bottle of hot sauce on a dare.

what i hate about you [languages]

through my adventures in language learning, i have come to appreciate the magic of all the different ways we have of speaking to one another. i hate the thought of the cultural diversity lost whenever a language goes extinct and applaud efforts to keep any and all of them fresh in the public mind. i marvel at the ability of languages to persist in an ocean of difference and get hot under the collar when i hear about attempts by despots to repress a language as a way of showing dominance.

i've purchased a few books on the subject [and been given a few others], but my primary learning method has been through free education beacon duolingo, where i've completed four "trees" [courses] in the last two years, which has given me a basic grounding in german, spanish and swedish, and significantly helped my french. my preference then is to move on to listening to or reading newscasts in order to get a sense of the rhythms and flow of these languages, as well, of course, for …

making faces :: a lip for all seasons [summer edition]

this may seem like an odd time to think about summer, but not to think about coolness. it can be hard to wrap your head around the idea that summer is considered "cool" in colour analysis terms and, in my opinion, reads as the coolest of the cool, because everything in it is touched with the same chilly grey. winter may have the coldest colours, but its palette is so vivid that it distracts the eye. everything in summer is fresh and misty, like the morning sky before the sun breaks through. in my original post on the season, i compared it to monet's paintings of waterlilies at his garden in giverny and, if i do say so, i think that's an apt characterisation.

finding lip colours touched with summer grey and blue is, as you might expect, kind of tricky. the cosmetic world seems obsessed with bringing warmth, which doesn't recognise that some complexions don't support it well. [also, different complexions support different kinds of warmth, but that's another…